Saturday, April 1, 2017

Made by a Human

Moving forward with my new colourway for Judy Niemeyer's Prairie Star, the next step is the RS units, or "large corner spikes." I planned out my own cutting instructions, concentrated, and the first one turned out great. Here is the new yellow and white section, laid out with the flying geese and melon spike units that I made a few years ago:


It was a little tricky to manoeuvre the big paper section through the machine, but doable.

The whole project is very well designed, and the instructions are detailed. But, they do frequently say things like "After you pin the papers onto the fabric strips, take the strips and the papers to your machine," as if your cutting table and sewing table are different places. It is all the same table here! It really felt like you need a large, dedicated studio to follow the instructions, and I decided it would be easier to simplify the cutting and strip piece it, instead of using all the cutting templates. Strip piecing is also easier with prints. I measured off the pattern, and rough cut everything without even ironing the fabric:


I iron the strip just before I sew it on, since the iron is right beside me anyway. And then I iron the seam open. The advantage of the strip is that you can sew along either side, and you don't have to worry about the right side triangle or the left side triangle. Everything always fits.

Well...everything always fits as long as you stay focused! You still have to take care pinning the strip.


This is the one segment where the strip has to extend well past the end of the seam, and I forgot. Those are very tight, small stitches, and I didn't want to unpick it. So I cut off the far end of the strip, which was now too long, and sewed it to the short end, not through the paper. I think it did the job:


If I hadn't fixed it, there would have been just a tiny quarter-inch hole there. You can see the seam allowances through the white fabric, but to me that was better than the damage I would have done unpicking the seam.

Made by a human! Two done, six of these sections to go. I'm going to do my best to stick with it, because it's not an easy thing to set aside and come back to later. And the warm weather is coming, so I want to finish the top before it is too hot to sit next to the iron. Fingers crossed!

15 comments:

  1. Ah yes, that old "focus thing". Isn't it amazing how taking your eye off the ball (or the rotary cutter) for just a second can make something so much more "human". I'm pleased to say that everything I have ever made fits your description of "made by a human". Great save on your part.

    Rough cut paper piecing all the way! That's a lot of piecing in that block and yours looks fantastic.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I was glad to be able to use the sections I'd already made, and not have to redo them too. The whole quilt is a lot of sewing -- sometimes it seems fast, sometimes not. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

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  2. This looks so complex to me. You are so talented to get this all worked out and it is so pretty. I am in awe!

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    1. Thanks very much, Jocelyn! It took so long to get the colours right, but I'm hoping I've got it all sorted now!

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  3. I have Judy's Bali Wedding Star pattern,. Well, 2 sets of them to make a queen sized quilt. I have not even started on it.
    Yours is coming along nicely. That tiny seam will totally disappear once it is quilted.

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  4. Love it. . .especially your comment about made by a human! :) Terrific solution to the "hole." Look at all the time you saved! I'll be cheering you on. Those spikes are beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Terry! It's not just the saved time, I really think unpicking it would have made things worse. On to the next ones!

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  5. Ha! I have to do stuff like that all the time. I choose to think it's resourceful. Maybe you should call this quilt (which is looking just lovely) "Made By a Human". :-)

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  6. This is going to be gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous and I'm never going to have one so I'll just drool on my keyboard looking at yours. That little "make do" won't even be noticeable. If I attempted one of these everyone would wonder what creature made it - certainly not a human!!

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  7. looking very complicated but coming together so very well

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  8. Good fix on the too short piece. I have been known to do similar things. It will be part of the story of the finished piece. Once quilted you will be hard pressed to find it. I also think that once the batting is beneath the quilt top you won't see the seams showing through either. I like your fabric choices. Most of the Judy quilts are done in batik fabrics and have a sameness to them that is getting a bit old (IMHO). Yours is fresher looking.

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  9. It looks great! Coming up short is exactly why I hate paper piecing--I always seem to guesstimate wrong! Good save--no one will ever know (except all of us--haha!).

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  10. This is the bit I'm not good at- measuring and stitching accurately. It cheers me that you make an error and come up with a fix - that I iidentify with!

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    1. Thanks, Jillian! I hope you are getting home safely. Take it easy!

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  11. Your solution was much better than picking out tiny stitches. Keep going on those sections. They're great.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! It is well appreciated. Happy stitching!

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